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The Significance Of Behavior Type On Web Information Retrieval And Academic Success

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1166.1 - 8.1166.8

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Paper Authors

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Tonya Smith-Jackson

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Chang Soo Nam

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Chanel Thomas

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session ####

The Significance of Behavior Type on Web Information Retrieval and Academic Success

Chanel T. THOMAS, Chang Soo NAM, and Tonya L. SMITH- JACKSON

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg, Virginia, USA 24061

Abstract - This research tests the relationship between Type A/B Behavior, information retrieval on the World Wide Web, and on academic success of college level students. The participants included 26 Industrial & Systems Engineering students at Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University. The Behavior Type of the students was determined by means of a 25 item checklist based upon attributes identified by Friedman and Rosenman (1974) 1. Quality cumulative average data were collected on a participant demographic sheet. The information seeking behavior strategies examined included direct address, subject directories and search engines. The results of the study revealed that there is a significant relationship between Behavior Type and quality cumulative average. Type A students had higher academic achievement then Type B students. In contrast, Type B students appeared to exceed their Type A counterparts in search tasks on the Web. A combination of developing pedagogies that are conducive to the learning styles of Type A individuals and designing Web pages targeted towards individuals using search engines will support information literacy in Engineering Students. Future implications include researching the effects of Behavior Type on particular areas of study such as Engineering and Mathematics vs. English and History.


Information literacy refers to a “person's ability to access and understand a variety of information resources (Lenox and Walker, 1993; p. 314) 2.” Information literacy in Engineering is important for both academic and career success. Web and database searches are common activities associated with information retrieval, and information literacy reflects an individual’s knowledge and skills associated with information retrieval. Students are relying on the World Wide Web (WWW) more frequently to obtain information. Given students’ growing dependence on the Internet to access credible information associated with research and independent learning, it is important that the Web be ergonomically designed, as is the case for any other tool used to perform a task. In addition, it is important to integrate the new demands for information literacy into the Engineering curriculum, but this integration will not be successful unless educators are aware of two important factors that can potentially undermine search success -- interface design and human attributes (students).

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Smith-Jackson, T., & Nam, C. S., & Thomas, C. (2003, June), The Significance Of Behavior Type On Web Information Retrieval And Academic Success Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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